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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   Catskill honeymoon
Monday, May 12 2003
After hugging Dina and Gretchen's parents goodbye, we were finally free of wedding well-wishers. The saturation-bombing of socializing had taken its toll, and though I'd enjoyed myself more than I'd expected, I probably would have been happy to forgo that last day.

Gretchen had planned a real honeymoon, the kind that takes place after a wedding, at a cabin in the Catskills. It was one of those places from which dogs are prohibited, so we dropped Sally off at Katie's place in Saugerties "on the way."
Our cabin was only about 30 miles away, at a little retreat along route 28 called the Weyside Inn. It seemed to be frozen in time circa 1962. The walls inside our cabin were all wood-panel, the kitchen table was a vintage formica piece, and the kitchen walls appeared to be made of slabs of formica. There were two bedrooms, an arrangement allowing families to come and stay for prolonged periods. There were plenty of things to do at the campground, including boating on a small lake, riding the clunky campground bikes, or perhaps a rousing game of table tennis.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't really cooperating. A cold wind was howling from the west and more often than not it carried slanting rain. It was perfect weather for state-sanctioned sexual relations, basic cable, and ScrabbleTM, but not much else.
Later, though, just before sunset, the weather cleared enough for us to put on our coats and take the pedal-powered paddleboat out on the lake.
Just to have a comprehensive understanding of the state of Indian food in the Catskills, in the evening we drove into the neighboring town of Pine Hill to try the food at the Pine Hill Indian restaurant. (I realize now that the dot-feather explanatory process would have been too confusing for this restaurant to have been established in the town of Big Indian.) The service at this restaurant was quirky, since it came from three different people. This included the cook, a plump Indian woman (dot not feather). She seemed like she had a hangover and her ideas for good things to include with our dinner special seemed to be at variance with Gretchen's wishes, particularly since her overarching desire seemed to be getting rid of things that were taking up room in the kitchen refrigerator. But in the end the food was excellent, though the prices were considerably higher than those familiar from such places as 6th Street in the East Village; Albany, New York; and even Staunton, Virginia.
Since the Weyside Inn doesn't accept credit cards, we stopped in a gas station/general store on route 28 in hopes of extracting money from a cash machine. They stocked a wide selection of water pipes, but they didn't actually have a device from which one could obtain money. The nearest such machine was many miles to the west in Margaretville. Since we only needed $20, the gas station people agreed to add it to the price of our gas and then give us the cash, though they were being sort of martyrs about it until we explained that we were on our honeymoon. It was hard to believe that the Catskills were still in such a primitive state, but this wasn't the first indication that things here had changed very little since the Catskills golden age (halfway through the last century).

In the evening, Gretchen and I tried playing a variation on ScrabbleTM called UpWordsTM (also made by Milton Bradley). In this game, you can replace letters in words by stacking new letters on top. It seemed like a promising idea, but the rules are such that contestants tend to crowd the lowest layer with words before resorting to stacking, and by then it's too late for stacking to present new possibilities - the words are so tightly-packed that to change a letter means changing at least two words at once, and that's not often possible in the English language. We ended up abandoning the game because it just wasn't fun anymore. Besides, Gretchen was kicking my ass.

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